Bolex H16 problem

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Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 10:52 pm
Real name: Clyde Shaffer
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Bolex H16 problem

Post by Agumander » Fri May 19, 2017 11:31 pm

Hi, I just joined after my troubles led me to seek help online. I'll try to stick around and become a productive community member, I promise! O:-)

After messing around with a Kodak Cine I decided I decided to upgrade by buying a Bolex H16 Reflex (after ordering a Krasnogorsk-3 that continues to float in international shipping limbo after a month), and while it mostly seems to run quite nicely I've run into one really scary problem while filming the usual backyard test footage.

Right about when the footage counter got to 70, the camera abruptly stopped shooting. I gave it a little extra wind, but found that it still had some spin left in the spring. I took it back inside thinking "Hey, maybe I accidentally ran it for thirty feet while loading. I've been dumber."

Dissolve to next scene: I'm inside having brought all my stuff back in. I'm sitting in a dimly lit room and unloading the camera. I take the cover off, and what do I see? The inside of the camera is PACKED with scrunched and folded film, as if the bottom reel gave up on turning for a while. The camera had stopped because it simply couldn't cram any more film into the space.

Having successfully made some practice stock out of this roll of Tri-X, I crudely spliced out the torn and crinkled film out and tried running the camera some more with the cover off. The remaining stock ran smoothly at all framerates. "I should ask my professor", I thought. "Sure wish I had one!" but I'm a full-time software engineer and not a student enrolled in any film school. Alas!

So I suppose my question is: Is this indicative of a particular operator error, fault within the camera, or an unavoidable stroke of bad luck giving me a warm welcome to film cinematography?

Here's the sight that greeted me when opening the camera.
Thanks for looking :P
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Real name: Michael A Carter

Re: Bolex H16 problem

Post by studiocarter2 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:52 pm

Sometimes the film does not stay in the notch on the take up spool. I always apply a slight pressure on the reels with my finger tips after loading and run a few inches before closing the cover to make sure film is indeed being taken up. This is done in a darkroom, totally dark, no "safe" light. Your film would have been salvageable if respooled in the dark. Now you have a roll to practice with, and use as leader. The remaining film could be shot for images as it was inside the "daylight" spool. I always load and unload in the dark. Bigger cameras use longer film on unprotected cores and dark is required.

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Real name: Simon Wyss
Location: Near Basel, Switzerland

Re: Bolex H16 problem

Post by Mmechanic » Thu May 25, 2017 8:13 am

As Michael sais, the spool might have turned but not taken the film.
When you run the empty camera and finger brake the take-up spool,
does it pull? If not, your camera needs a service.

Fold the film three quarter of an inch from the cut end, hook the
fold in the spool’s core slot, and roll two or three windings on that.
Check whether film is tightened when film slack taken up and camera

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Real name: Doug Palmer
Location: Bridport UK

Re: Bolex H16 problem

Post by doug » Thu May 25, 2017 10:59 am

Just a thought... is the takeup spool bent slightly ? This might make it take up badly.

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